A former neighbor revealed that the 13 siblings found starving and shackled inside a California home would march “military style” late at night.
“I … thought they were some kind of cult,” neighbor, Mike Clifford Jr, told The Sun.
“At night time all the kids would walk back and forth on the second storey,” he added. “We could see them through the windows.”
Clifford Jr, who works in a hospital, said he’d often see the Turpin siblings being marched through the upstairs rooms between midnight and 3 a.m., reported the New York Post.
“The light would be on the whole the time, and they would be marching the kids back and forth,” Clifford Jr told The Post.
The 30-year-old former neighbor of the Turpins said the family never came out except very late at night.
“I’d never see them during the day except I saw two of the sisters go check the mail once,” he told The Sun.
“I tried to say hello but they just looked straight ahead went to the mailbox and went back, like zombies almost. Completely monotone, no personality or social skills or anything.
“They never came out except very late at night when they would load all the kids into the minivan – it would be around midnight or even later,” he continued.
“I don’t know where they went at that time… Who knows. What kind of parents don’t let their kids play outside?” he added.
David and Louise Turpin were arrested and charged with child endangerment and torture on Sunday, Jan. 14 when their 17-year-old daughter, whom officials thought was only 10, escaped their Perris, California, home and contacted authorities, according to police. They’re now being held on $9 million bails each.
The 13 kids were aged 2 to 29. They were taken to a hospital and were given food and drink.
The children were, as police said, “shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings.”
“The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty,” a news release from police said.
Jack Phillips contributed to this article.